Election Queries

Why get involved?

We’re a democratic organisation. And we want to put our members at the heart of the campaign for fair votes and a better democracy in Britain. If you’ve got the time, energy and ideas then please consider standing for election to Council this year.

Council members have a central role to play in deciding the key priorities for the Society. It’s an important job and we need members with the right balance of ideas, skills and experience. This is a special opportunity - available only to members - to help shape the Society’s agenda and to inject energy and enthusiasm into the job of building a better democracy in Britain.

What do Council members do?

The Council is the Electoral Reform Society’s governing body. It provides creative challenge and scrutiny on issues such as strategy, planning and business performance and works with the senior staff team to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld.

The Council is made up of 15 members – 12 of whom are elected every other year and an additional 3 that are co-opted by the 12 elected members. Each Council members serves for a two-year term. All fully paid-up members are allowed to stand for election and to vote. The Council meets 4 times a year in central London (expenses are reimbursed). Members of the Council are also the legal Directors of the company, with collective responsibility for ensuring that the organisation is legally compliant. The Council:
  • sets the Society’s strategic direction and aims, in conjunction with the senior staff;
  • ensures accountability for the Society’s performance;
  • ensures that the Society is managed with probity and integrity.

Who can stand for election to the Council?

Any fully paid up ERS member can stand for election, provided that they are not disqualified from acting as a Company Director and have not been employed by the Society at any time in the three years prior to the close of nominations. Candidates for election must ensure that they are able and willing to observe the Society's Articles and Byelaws.

If you have any questions about standing for election, please contact the Society at ers@electoral-reform.org.uk or call 020 3743 6066.

What skills and experience do I need?

Council members can bring invaluable experience and perspectives from all walks of life. As the governing body of a prominent national campaign organisation, the Council needs active and engaged members – particularly those with some of the following attributes:
  • accountancy or financial management skills
  • experience of leading or working on high-profile campaigns
  • experience of working in politics
  • legal experience, particularly in company law and/or governance matters
  • media, press or marketing experience
  • knowledge, understanding and commitment to the not-for-profit sector
  • experience of a governance role
  • strategic vision and sound, independent judgement
  • human resources qualifications and/or experience at a senior level
  • experience in business development and/or fundraising

For further information about the role and responsibilities of Council members, including the four Officer positions (Chair, Vice Chair (Management), Deputy Chair (Campaigns) and Treasurer), please see Chapter 3 of our Byelaws, available here: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Articles-and-Byelaws-as-amended-10-07-19.pdf.pdf.  

What is the nature of the commitment?

There are 4 Council meetings each year held in central London, plus the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM is held in London one year and in a location outside London the next. This year, we are holding the AGM in central Manchester. Council members are expected to attend meetings – but we can arrange for members to dial in via telephone or Skype if attendance in person is occasionally difficult.

What about out-of-pocket expenses?

The ERS is committed to making the role of Council members as open to as many people as possible. We don’t want cost to be a barrier to anyone thinking of standing. We offer full reimbursement of all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses involved in serving as a Council member for the duration of the term. These include the cost of travel, subsistence, childcare costs, overnight accommodation in London if required and any other reasonable costs that arise as a result of serving on the board.

How do Council members get elected?

The 12 elected positions on the Council are elected by a ballot of all members held under the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Newly elected Council members formally take office at the close of the AGM, which is on 30 November this year.